We walked around Jamaica Pond on Christmas Eve. Our unseasonably warm December weather continued. Boston hit a high of 69° F (about 21° C). Many plants in the area have been behaving as if it were spring. A cherry tree in Jamaica Plain was in full bloom. And a few plants near the boathouse were unfurling new leaves.
Tag Archives: jamaica plain
Yesterday, on a truly spring-like day with warm temperatures and bright sunshine, we took a walk around Ward’s Pond, a small pond in Boston’s Emerald Necklace. Signs of spring abounded.
Red maples were in bloom. And our migrant birds from the south were out and about. A very noisy flock of grackles was foraging in the leaf litter.
Last weekend, as we were birding around Leverett Pond, we noticed a lot of commotion among the birds. Gulls took to the air and Canada geese and mallards walked off the ice into open water, huddling together. Soon afterward, we spotted a large dark bird flying overhead, our first bald eagle sighting in Boston.
Today, we noticed something similar on our walk around Jamaica Pond. This time, we spotted the bald eagle first as it approached the Pond. Then, we noticed that all of the gulls on the Pond had taken off and were flying helter-skelter.
American coots migrate north for the summer. Their return is a sign of autumn. As of Sunday, at least one of them has returned.
The trees and shrubs around Jamaica Pond are slowly catching up to the coots, but remain green for the most part.
Pockets here and there, though, show clear signs of fall.
Today was one of the nicest days of this new year in Boston: sunny and around 55 °F/12 °C. Even after our mid-winter thaw the last few days, Leverett Pond was mostly frozen and its banks covered in snow. The wood ducks I had seen early in the winter are still around.
Our first storm of the new year dropped about a foot of snow on us starting on Thursday. We braved temperatures around 10 °F/-12 °C to check in on Jamaica Pond.
Heavy fog rolled into Boston on the evening of Thursday, December 5. A thick blanket of darkness lay over Jamaica Pond.
Unusual warmth accompanied the fog, and winter moths (Operophtera brumata) were out in force. I saw one on a shrub covered in Christmas lights. Continue reading
Late Saturday afternoon, we walked around Leverett Pond in Boston’s Olmsted Park, in search of a mandarin duck. I had heard this duck was on the loose from The Rambling Brambling.
Mallards abounded in the area; we saw 140 of them. Three male ring-necked ducks swam past us in a line.
Boston celebrated the Red Sox victory in the World Series by throwing a parade on Saturday. I joined the crowds at one corner of the Boston Common, with bright fall color in the background.
We passed a kousa dogwood tree (Cornus kousa) on Parley Ave yesterday afternoon. The ripening fruit look like berries. They are edible, but don’t taste so great.
Kousa dogwoods are native to east Asia and their fruits differ from our local flowering dogwood in that they are compound and much larger. It is possible that these fruits evolved this way to appear more appetizing to macaque monkeys, who would eat the fruit and disperse the seeds.